A plaque honouring the courage of railway man Corporal Leslie Andrew has been unveiled today at Wellington Railway Station by KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy, The Rail Heritage Trust and Corporal Willie Apiata VC.
Corporal Andrew was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery and leadership during an attack on the village of La Basseville, France, 100 years ago today on July 31, 1917, in which he was instrumental in the capture of three German machine-gun posts.
“Corporal Andrew’s actions were at the pinnacle of human bravery. Even 100 years later it is still inspiring, and makes me proud to be a railway man,” KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy says.
“Rail had over 20,000 employees and over 40 percent of them gave up service to go and defend this country in World War One. It’s an enormous contribution of one organisation to that war effort,” Mr Reidy says.
“But while Corporal Andrew may have been one of the many who joined up, his actions mark him as one of the very few who have displayed an extraordinary bravery that is almost unimaginable.”